earn their stripes by helping their teams cope with change.
It is important to note that change is inevitable, messy,
non-linear, and sneaky. Nevertheless,
change is the impetus for innovation and growth.
Leaders help others grasp the complexity of change and by doing
so generate a methodology to navigate the change process.
Kotter, leadership expert at the
writes that there are typically eight steps for productive change:*
A sense of urgency is defined among key players,
A credible team of “change agents” is pulled together to guide the
The guiding team develops clear and straight-forward visions and
The guiding team communicates the vision and strategies to all relevant
Leaders work to empower people to remove obstacles that might block the
vision or strategies.
The empowered change agents provide resources and momentum for
short-term wins. This helps
quiet cynics and skeptics.
Change leaders don’t give up; rather they relentlessly work to build a
momentum for change by identifying “what’s next.”
Leaders make change lasting by nurturing a new culture that incorporates
the behavior and values that support the changes.
Kotter emphatically draws the conclusion that at the core of successful
change is “about changing the behavior of people, and behavior change
happens in highly successful situations mostly y speaking to people’s
*John Kotter, The Heart of Change.
: Harvard business School Press, 2002.
word about overcoming resistance to change.
is difficult for many. When
leaders meet resistance to change, they must convince others that the
new reality has benefits. Frequently,
this means that leaders must convey their own commitment to the change,
overcome misrepresentations with clear explanations and information, and
provide training and support.